VIDEO: Former Norwich footballer kicks off music career
PUBLISHED: 06:30 02 July 2011 | UPDATED: 13:20 02 July 2011
His debut brace against rivals Ipswich inspired a song that lived long in the memories of the Norwich City faithful.
“He scored against the scum, he scored another one. McKenzie woooh,” was sung by fans far and wide, home and away.
But now former Canaries striker Leon McKenzie is making music of his own and he hopes it will be equally loved.
The 33-year-old is working on releasing a single and with radio appearances in his diary, the confident frontman is anticipating a big future.
McKenzie said: “My aim is to get signed. I will probably get signed by a major label.
“I have created a buzz for myself, investing in myself, but I am working with all the right people and once I have created the buzz I will then basically go to a major label.”
The former Premier League striker is currently a free agent after being released by Northampton but the Londoner says he hopes for one more year playing football, before he fully focuses on his music.
“I have been working on projects for the last few years but not been able to fully commit. I have done a couple of songs and have one single to release at some point,” he said.
McKenzie’s family is well-known for their boxing pedigree, his uncle was Duke McKenzie, but music has also featured heavily with his cousin Ashley appearing on the X-Factor in 2006.
He said he hopes to do a project with Ashley and is also looking at working with other hip-hop artists. He describes his style as a fusion of RnB and pop, but also performs acoustic songs.
“I don’t model myself on anyone. I have got my own tone,” he said.
On his forthcoming appearance on Diverse FM, in Luton, McKenzie will be performing a cover of Kings of Leon’s hit Use Somebody, before his future single Make It is played.
McKenzie is not the first footballer to release a single, but he is confident he can find success as he said he is passionate about his music. He said: “A lot of footballers release music, but it is rubbish. But I can actually sing.”
He added that he hoped to record a video soon and wanted to tour in the future – including a visit to Norwich.
McKenzie played 81 times for Norwich, between 2003 and 2006, scoring 22 goals, including his famous brace on his debut against Ipswich and memorable strike in the 2-0 home win against Manchester United.
He had previously played for Crystal Palace, Fulham and Peterborough United, and went on to play for Coventry, Charlton and Northampton Town.
The footballer to pop star path is one strewn with casualties. Here are just a few who have tried to navigate along that same road…
Dion Dublin – the former Canaries star invented the percussion instrument The Dube. He played the six-sided electronic instrument with his band The Establishment at the University of East Anglia.
Paul Gascoigne – Gazza took advantage of his fame in 1990 by reaching number 2 in the charts with Fog on the Tyne. His follow-up single Geordie Boys was less successful.
Glenn Hoddle and Chris Waddle – Glenn & Chris reached number 12 in the charts with their song Diamond Lights, but it was their 1987 performance on Top of the Pops that is best remembered.
Ian Wright – the popular Arsenal striker wrote and released Do The Right Thing in 1993. It was co-written and produced by Chris Lowe of the Pet Shop Boys, but only reached number 43.
Andy Cole – in 1999 the then Manchester United striker failed to make the Top 40 with his rap cover of The Gap Ban’s Outstanding.
Morten Gamst Pedersen – the Blackburn winger fronts Norwegian boyband The Players, alongside fellow footballers Freddy dos Santos, Raymond Kvisvik, Kristofer Hæstad and Øyvind Svenning.
Didier Drogba and Michael Essien – The Chelsea duo featured in an anti-racism single. Skin by Wills and the Willing was released in October 2007 to coincide with Kick Racism Out of Football week.